This report looks at the problems young people have getting a job in Italy, and the particularly poor employment and working conditions of those who do manage to get one. It is not a recent problem in Italy, but the crisis has made matters worse according to the figures collected by the report authors, researchers at the Italian Institute of Economic and Social Research (IRES). The participation rate of Italians aged 15-24 has fallen by 10% between 2000 and 2010, dropping to below 30% since 2008. This compares with an EU average for the same age group of more than 40%.

"The youngest workers have borne more of the brunt of the crisis even when in stable employment", note the authors. The jobs available to young people are all insecure: agency work, fixed-term contracts, too low-paid to achieve financial independence, etc. The report includes the findings from a survey of 1,000 workers aged 15 to 34, principally on their working conditions. The plight of younger workers is not one to be envied: higher work accident rates, unsocial hours, excessively fast work paces, low job discretion, etc. It comes as no surprise therefore to find that a third of Italy’s youth would be willing to emigrate for a better life.

While the problem cuts across all categories of young workers (graduates/unskilled, white/blue collar, etc.), young people from the lowest socioeconomic groups seem more permanently beset by insecurity than those from more well-to-do backgrounds.

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